Tag Archives: farm life

I Don’t Take It For Granted


Okay y’all…I know I am spoiled rotten!  I am truly blessed to have my in-laws around to help take care of Eden…well and basically everything.  Sometimes I’m even embarrassed at how much they do for us, especially in our culture of independence.  I honestly don’t think God intended for families to go their own separate ways as they do in American culture.  I am very thankful I have a wonderful relationship with my in-laws, because I know that’s not always the case.  But more than anything, I am so thankful Eden has them to love on her, teach her values, and to make unforgettable memories together.

So Miss Eden Grace did not stay they night with them or anyone else until she was 26 months old.  I had horrible postpartum anxiety (though I didn’t realize it for many months after she was born) and I nursed her until she was almost two.  I didn’t want to leave her with anyone…ever.  But Chad and I were planning to attend a farm conference out of state and Eden couldn’t come so on Thanksgiving 2017 I let Eden stay the night with my in-laws for the first time…and the rest is history!  No but really…she has stayed almost every weekend with them sine then!  I have a mix of mom guilt, gratitude, and liberation.  During the week I pretty much take care of Eden all by myself, so it’s such a blessing to have the weekend to be alone and get refreshed…and actually get things done.

I don’t know if any other moms are like this, but when Eden isn’t home I get some kind of extraterrestrial burst of energy.  I am like the energizer bunny on steroids!  (She rode in the tractor for two hours yesterday and I went crazy working in the yard!) On Friday evenings Chad and I normally get things ready for farmer’s market, eat dinner, and sometimes watch a show, and then go to bed early.  (We have a secret: Eden still sleep in our bed…shhhhhh…don’t tell anyone…but it’s nice to have the bed to ourselves on the weekends…our backs definitely hurt less when we wake up).  On Saturday Chad leaves the farm at 6:15am to get to farmer’s market and my father-in-law helps me do all the morning chores.  It takes two people to do our chores since we move the chicken houses every morning.  After chores, I normally clean house, pay bills, and fold and put away all the laundry that piled up on my kitchen table during the week (that’s when I turn into the energizer bunny!).  This morning my father-in-law and I mowed the yard too.  It also takes two people to mow our yard.  One person mows and the other moves vehicles, tractors, and Chad’s large collection of pallets laying around the yard (insert eye-roll here).


Selfie with the hens! Farm hair…don’t care!


Our pastured chickens!  One person pulls the house to fresh grass with the tractor and the other gets inside the house and shoos the chickens forward so they don’t get ran over.  This is one of our two houses.

When Chad gets home from farmers market he’s normally pretty exhausted so we do evening chores and then we try to make Saturday evenings our time of rest.  We got obsessed with reading and watching Outlander so we got the shows on DVDs and watched three seasons over the summer!

Eden always has a great time with her Nana and Aunt B over the weekend.  They go visit her great grandparents in the next town, go to the park, and on Sunday she goes to church with Nana (on the Sundays I go to church I pick her up and bring her to church with me).

I know my in-laws don’t mind keeping her most weekends, and I know Eden LOVES every moment of it.  However, I feel guilty.  I know there are so many moms out there who don’t get a break.  I know my mother-in-law is tired from working all week (though I’ve asked her to make sure to let me know if she wants me to keep her).  I don’t take it for granted that I get the weekend to myself, and that Chad and I can get some alone time together.

When I loaded her up in my father-in-law’s Tahoe yesterday evening I was trying hard to fight back the tears.  I asked her if she was sure she wanted to go.  It’s not always easy to send her away for the weekend.  I miss her snuggles and wildness, but I know the break makes me a better mom…and at least my house is clean for a few hours!  I know I need to relinquish the mom guilt and simply have a grateful heart for her Nana and Papa and my time of rest…or productivity! 😉


Fun Family Evening Out

Fun Family Evening Out

Farm life often makes it hard to do things as a family away from the farm.  We get lots of family time working outside, and we eat dinner as a family just about every night.  However,  it’s not always the easiest to get the three of us together to go out and do something fun and special off of the farm.  Chad makes deliveries three times a week and barely manages to stay on top of the responsibilities of the farm the days he is home.  On Thursday evening we had an opportunity to do something together and we took it!  My wonderful mother-in-law helped to get us a membership to the Tulsa zoo a while back.  Normally Eden and I go by ourselves but the zoo had a special event so they stayed open until 8pm.  Chad delivers our chicken, eggs, and produce to Tulsa on Thursday afternoons so he met us at the zoo when he was finished.  We had such a wonderful time as our little family of three!  I was so incredibly thankful that even though we’re all tired and really needed to be at the farm to work on things that we decided to take the opportunity for a little bit of fun and family time!  Sometimes that’s more important than getting things done! 🙂


Off to the zoo to meet daddy!!!


Oh my heart…I’m so blessed to have these two.


She took Chad’s hat and put it on.  So cute!



Daddy’s little girl.


3 going on 13!


Man, I love this man!


Family selfie on the train!


She has to take a picture on this rhino every time we come to the zoo!


Potatoes and Onions are in the Ground!

Potatoes and Onions are in the Ground!

Written on March 25, 2017

I think I’m still recuperating from last weekend’s planting frenzy! When Chad got home from farmer’s market on Saturday we planted until dark, planted most of the day Sunday, and Chad took the day off on Monday (he’s doing taxes during tax season since he quit his full-time job last August) so we could finish up planting and play catch up on all the other things we need to do.

Though we planted onions in February I’ll start with potatoes.  A few weeks ago Chad asked me how many pounds of potatoes to plant.  We only planted 300 pounds last year and we sold out of them.  This year we have a restaurant in Tulsa wanting 200 pounds a week, plus we have to have enough for market and our buying groups.  I’m sure I told him to just plant the same as last year since I tend to become insanely overwhelmed at the thought of increasing the work we already have trouble staying on top of.  So when he brought home 18 bags of potatoes, which is 900 pounds, I may have literally shed a few tears and had a mild panic attack.  I’m not going to act like this life is a piece of cake, because my personality and farming DO NOT go hand in hand at all!  I really struggle with anxiety and not freaking out about all the things farming entails.  So the fact that our little farming business is growing faster than Chad, me, and little Eden can keep up  with is a bit stressful at times.  900 pounds of potatoes may seem like a lot to some people, but to many vegetable farmers it’s nothing!  I have to keep that in mind during my mini freak out sessions!

But in just one weekend we got all the potatoes in the ground without any trouble and it feels great to have that checked off the list.  Now, when it’s time to dig them this summer I’m sure I’ll be in freak out mode again! 🙂


18 bags of seed potatoes: 10 gold and 8 red


This sexy momma cut all the potatoes with this super awesome potato cutter!  Eden’s papa fenced in the yard so when he wasn’t watching her she could play in the front yard while I worked! 🙂


Chad fertilized and tilled the ground for the potatoes.


Normally I ride on the transplanter while Chad drives the tractor, but potato planting goes better if Chad plants and I drive.  Thankful for tractors and transplanters so we don’t have to use a hoe and shovel like we did 4 years ago when we were getting started!


My rows aren’t the straightest but they get the job done!


Nothing like planting with the gorgeous sunset to look at!


You can’t plant potatoes without lots of selfies, right?!


Day 2 of potato planting!


We are finished!  900 pounds of potatoes in the ground! May God send rain and multiply the seed!



We plant onions every February.  I’m not exactly sure how many we plant, but I know it’s four crates full.  4 years ago we planted them all by hand (which took about a week!), but we now we have two different transplanters.  We use the older one for potatoes.  Our newer transplanter is called a water-wheel transplanter and it has two tanks on the top that hold water.  The wheels make holes in the ground where the plant is to be place and water runs into each hole with the plant.  We use the waterwheel transplanter with everything except potatoes.  We were able to plant all the onions in about half a day!  Beats doing it by hand for a whole week!


Chad tilling the ground prepping for onion planting.


We also have a piece of equipment called a bed shaper that goes behind the tractor.  We plant the onions and many other things we grow on raised beds to help improve drainage and give better root development.  Also, if you look very closely you’ll see two rows of garlic coming up on the left side of the field near the fence.


Onion planting is one of the few things we plant where we have to have a second person on the transplanter.  The plants are so close together that two people are needed to keep up.  My father-in-law is a trooper and helps us plant onions every year.  He really is the best!


You can’t plant onions without a selfie! He really is good lookin’ though!


Onion crop 2017 planted! Yay! 

Well there you have it!  Spring is in the air!  It feels so good to have our two biggest crops in the ground!  Now if we can stay on top of our green house and high tunnel we’ll be good to go in the produce department!

Miss Eden got to hang out with Nana and Aunt Beth while we were planting!  We sure are thankful for always having them to help out with her.  Chad threatens to strap her car seat to the transplanter, but I’m not sure how I feel about that! 😉

Washing Eggs

Washing Eggs

One thing I never imagined when I pictured my future life was my daily chore of washing eggs.  (Nor did I ever picture having over 400 hens either ha ha!)  I normally complain to high heavens about having to wash eggs!  I don’t know why I hate it so much!  It’s yucky…it hurts my already aching back to stand over the sink for 2 hours…and now I have to worry about keeping my eye on a toddler while my back is to her (if she’s not with Papa Dan).

But even though it’s still not my favorite thing in the world to do, something in me has changed a bit this week.  For one, I try to wash eggs in the morning while Eden is feeding cows with Papa Dan and Uncle Jake which is a huge help to me.  Plus, I’ve recently found this podcast called “The God Centered Mom” and it’s so good and refreshing, so I listen to it while I’m washing eggs.  And I’ve really been trying to find the positive in things, instead of always seeing the glass half empty (which comes very naturally, unfortunately).


For one, those eggs are our income.  A few weeks ago we were getting less than a dozen a day and having to turn away our local customers, and we were not even taking any to farmer’s market.  People were not happy!  Within two months we’ve gone from 4 eggs a day to 10-12 dozen a day!  The most eggs we’ve ever gathered in a day were 11 dozen last Summer when our first batch of 200 hens were laying at their peak.  Now our new hens are laying 10-12 dozen a day and they are just getting started!  My first reaction when Chad brings in the egg baskets every night is to moan and complain, but that’s so silly!  Those egg baskets symbolize part of our livelihood, and I should be very thankful our hens are being good girls right now.


Second, I should take pride in my role here on the farm.  I sometimes get very discouraged because I feel like I contribute very little to the farm since I’m focusing my attention more on Eden right now.  But guess what?!  Washing eggs is a huge contribution and I know Chad is so thankful I do it!  Washing, packing, weighing, and labeling eggs is a big chore that I can call my own here on the farm.  I’m not just a mom…I am a farmer too and it’s easy to forget that, especially in the Winter months when things are slower.

Thirdly, I get a great view out of my kitchen window and time to reflect while I’m at the kitchen sink each morning.  The picture of Eden sitting in the window is from last April when she was around 8 months old.  Before she was born I washed eggs alone in my house probably listening to Kelly and Michael Live in the background and staring blankly out the kitchen window.  Once Eden was old enough to sit up she sat in the window and watched me wash eggs every day.  It made that time so much more pleasant.  Now I miss so much the days when she was little enough to sit up there and coo and babble at me.  But now she’s a big girl and gets to get out of the house while I wash eggs.  As I mentioned earlier, I try to use that time to pray, reflect, and listen to something uplifting and encouraging whether it’s a podcast or music.  I purposefully keep the tv turned off during that time.


Eden helping me wash eggs at 8 months old. 🙂

It might sound so silly to have this whole post dedicated to the mundane task of washing eggs, but it’s a significant part of my day.  And since we moved to the farm three years ago I’m forced to look out my kitchen window each morning and see the seasons change and the birds flee and flit, and reflect on how far we’ve come as a farm and a family.

My daily goal is to be thankful, not just about washing eggs, but about every thing in my life, no matter how mundane and simple it may be.  God has blessed us so much and he uses those eggs each day to bless me and bring me back to right perspective.

My hope is that this will encourage you to be thankful for the simple things in your life.  I complain so much.  Instead of complaining about having to wash dishes, I should be thankful I have clean running water, and food to put on those dishes.  I know it’s so hard in our society today to be positive, but if we put down our phones and turn off our tv and take time to reflect we can do it together!


The Boys in Her Life


Almost every morning Eden’s Papa Dan and Uncle Jake come in and get her to feed the cows.  As soon as they walk in the door she goes running to them.  (And I definitely appreciate the hour I get to myself to do housework or simply read a book!)  We knew before she was even born she would be the light of her Papa’s life and that he would take her on many adventures and spoil her rotten with fun things to do around the farm.  It melts my heart too see her with the boys, whether it’s just her Papa or all three of them.  She will grow up not realizing her childhood is rare and special.  She will grow up with lots of adventures and “field trips” as I like to call them.  Whether she is riding in the combine or tractor, playing in the shop, or simply riding along in the truck feeding cows she is having the time of her life and making so many happy memories.

Yesterday I needed to get out of the house and get some fresh air so I went feeding with them and I got to sit in the back seat and watch Eden as they fed.  It reminded me of when I was a little girl and fed cows with my grandpa in the winter time.  I will forever cherish those memories, as I’m sure Eden will.  Papa Dan lets her push the on and off button on the controller for the hay bed each time they use it and when Uncle Jake goes to open the gate she gets in his seat and knows to scoot back over when he comes back.  She moos and points to the cows when they come running and puts her hand on the window when the horses are near in hopes to pet one.  It melted my heart to see her yesterday, just like it does anytime she is spending time with one or all of the boys.


Eden feeding cows with Papa Dan & Uncle Jake!

I know I say this ALL THE TIME, but I am truly beyond thankful she will grow up out here on this farm.  But I am even more thankful that she has three men that love on her and teach her new things each and every day.  They show her what hard work and discipline are, and teach her important values, plus she gets to have lots of fun too.

As I’m writing this all three boys are in here by the fire warming up for a bit playing with her and laughing.  She’s one lucky girl to have them.  And I’m one lucky mama that she has them too.



This moment super melted my heart!  I took this picture from our living room window without any of them even knowing it.  I remember watching them for several minutes and soaking in all the love and attention she was getting.  All three of them (though Chad is hiding in this picture) were playing with Eden on the back of the drill. She was running back and forth and having the time of her life!



Eden in the combine with Uncle Jake!



I remember this day because it was the first time Eden rode on Chad’s shoulders while we moved the chicken house! Always new and fun things going on!