Established 10.30.10

Established 10.30.10

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January Snow

Weekends are always way too short so we always try to make the most of it.  A few weeks ago I went and watched my cousin Kara play aau basketball.  She did very well and it's amazing to me how well kids play at such a young age!
 Good job Kara!
 We went bowling with the youth group a few weeks ago.  We had the biggest group of kids that we've had in a long time!  It was a great night.  I don't think I'm old, but sometimes when the kids talk I have to stop and ask-- what's that?  Wednesday nights are usually a learning experience for me :)
I didn't brave the roads today.  Karl asked what I was going to do all day.  I responded, "the normal: exercise, clean, laundry, bake and book work".  To which Karl responded "sometimes I think you clean imaginary dirt".  Thanks to my patience I decided to take that as a compliment and be glad that he agrees our house is usually clean :)  This is my mop that I got at the state fair this year.  It's a knock off of the norwex ones.  I love it nonetheless!  
I don't think it's all that bad to have a clean house.  Who doesn't want floors that you can walk on barefoot and not get yucky stuff on your feet?  Who doesn't want clean clothes?  Who does want to look at dust on the furniture?  And my personal favorite-- who doesn't love the feeling of clean sheets at night?!  I don't think I'm OCD... I think I just enjoy living in a picked up house.
 Last weekend we went to the state's Farm Bureau Young Farmers conference in Des Moines.  It was a very fun weekend with great speakers & sessions.  It was in a new location this year with lots more room & much better food!  The theme was "Love 2 Farm".  To top it off, we got to see Mark & Stacy get recognized and speak for winning the Young Farmer Achievement Award.  You'll have to check out her blog for pics.  The one day I forget my camera and I wished I had it...ugh!
 Snow drifts!! Haven't seen too many of these the past couple years!  On my 18th birthday there was a huge storm ('07) and I spent my birthday laying on the couch with a broken ankle & no electricity.  This year it's my golden birthday (24)....wondering if we'll get another storm?
The gravel road got plowed today around 3...hope they stay mostly open and not blow shut again!
I realize this isn't the best picture but I couldn't my camera not to glare.  Lights on, lights off, blinds open, blinds shut....then I gave up & decided this would be good enough.  Above there is 2 pictures of Karl/I.  1 picture of Boender nephews/nieces, 1 picture of Vander Schel nephews, 1 family pic of Boenders, 1 family pic of Vander Schel.  Surrounding those are the 3 metal signs that Becky made for me from a pinterest idea I had found.  I love my new display (it's above the big chair) and love having such nice pictures!  In the past few weeks I've found to really love my signs.  Family- you love them, go through highs & lows, pray for each other & know that you will all make it through good times & rough times as long as you have one another.  Faith- it can be tested, trusted, easy, hard, reassuring & hard to understand.  Friends- they're there at good times & bad, give lots of support and can always be relied on.  These 3 "F"'s have many more descriptions but I'll save those for later.  Lately I've been very blessed to have Family, Faith & Friends and have learned the power of prayer is very strong.

Here's to February!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Here Piggy Piggy!

Well, the shed was complete so I guess the next step was to bring in the pigs.   Here piggy piggy!!!  Didn't take them too long to get off the cold truck that came from Texas and into the warm building with food & water.  These pigs are about 3 weeks old.
 Since the truck was coming from Texas, it originally was supposed to be here around 10 at night- no big deal, get them in for a couple hours and go to bed late.  Well, plans changed and they weren't going to be here until 12:30.  So, we went to bed, took a "nap" and then got up at 12:30 to go get the pigs in and put them in pens.  We got done around 3 and by the time we got back in and showered I was back to bed by 3:30.  It's a good thing it was a Friday the next day and I only had to make it through 1 work day :)
 They came in and found the heat lamps and huddled all around/on top of eachother under the heat.
 This would be around the 3 a.m. mark.  Yet, still super excited that our gates are short enough that I can step over them without "hopping".  My dad's gates are a little higher and it was always annoying to hop them, rather than step.  I know, the little things in life..... :)
 Officially proud pig farmer
 Most of the pigs found the food & waterers (above) right away.
 For the smaller, weaker ones that didn't find water- Karl is pouring milk replacement into a container for them for a few days.   A couple of them would make these weird noises- Karl said that's the sound they make when their trying to find their mom. :(
This "bubble" is the thing that helps the air ventilation throughout the building (for lack of better words).
 This smile was after 7 long hours (non-stop) of bending over, and over, and over, and over, and over again.  I'm proudly showing off my sweet fanny pack that hold medicine bottles, hooked via tubes to the shot syringe & needle.  I had the syringe in one hand and spray paint in the other all day.  Karl & I got their first round of shots done on Saturday.  Today, which is Sunday, the "day of rest", I have never understood more than I have today.  Holy cow.  I am literally exhausted.  I'm not opposed to manual labor at all.  However, when I sit in the office 40 hrs a week, that doesn't exactly prepare me for a full day of standing in non-supportive gum boots (I had a kankle the size of Texas), getting crapped on (ew), and bending over 3,000 times (my lower back, thighs, shoulders, arms & neck HURT). Literally.  Oh well, we survived, and I've managed to complain enough to get Karl to give me a back massage :)     
 Speaking of getting crapped on...... I just wanted to make sure and take an upclose shot of my pants.  The first time I got pooped on I felt this warm rush run down my thigh.  For a second, I had to double check and make sure it wasn't me :)  Oh well- all in a hard day's work, right?!  I guess this would be one of  the definitions of a "farmer's wife".
 All marked & happy.  I asked Karl, "when I say 'hey babe, that one isn't marked yet', do you think that the pigs think I'm talking to them?" hahahaahahaha. get it? Babe, the pig?! Okay, I thought it was funny.  Obviously we were hard up for conversations yesterday after 7 hours of doing the same thing because Karl also renamed our dog "Kipper, the keeper of the shed".  I guess you do what you gotta do.   I may sound like I've been complaining but it was actually fun to work together and get a big job accomplished.
 We had visitors come to see our baby pigs.  Avery- beautiful like her mama!
 Daddy showing her what piggies eat.
 Uhhh... I'm not so sure about this dad...
 Nevermind- I like them now! :)
Nice piggy :)

I was worried that I would be sore after volleyball tomorrow after not playing for 2 weeks during the holidays.  Guess I don't have to worry about that, because I won't be able to feel the difference! :)  Ready to get back to the grind of full weeks of work, volleyball, youth group etc. etc.  Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas/ Hogshed/ New Years

I'm hoping everyone had a wonderful Christmas.   I know I did!  Ahh, here I am, last day of my break and wishing it wouldn't have to end.  I could TOTALLY handle this "stay at home wife" thing.  Note, only a wife, nothing else :)  haha.  Anyways- back to work tomorrow and my life of rest and relaxation is over.  
 Christmas is always a very fun time to hang out with family.  It's a great time to eat, talk, laugh and do it all over again.  Gifts are always fun too.  Natalie is loving her dollie, gloves & PJ's.
 Elijah- very proud of his skidloader from Grandpa & Grandma.
 Do you see the small shirt in the bottom left hand corner of this picture? Yes, that's Dryson's.   He was perfectly content laying beside the Christmas tree trying to take a sibling picture w/ his brother.  Rowan on the other hand, thought that since I was laying on the ground trying to help Rach get the kids situated that I was fair game to run and jump on.  Whatever works- I like this picture better too, Rowan - good choice :)
 Finally- I am able to put up pictures of our hogshed.  This project started back in early October (right after the beans got out of the field).  We had a building company that was awesome to work with and let us use our choice of people for dirtwork & electrical-  brothers & uncles :).  I won't try to upload the 100's of pictures I have of the whole project but here are a few of the major changes.  Above- dirtwork for digging out the pit.
 The pit floor.  The workers that these companies hire are AMAZING at what they do.  It's unbelievable how fast they work.   Since Karl was around a lot during odd jobs he became friends with the workers.  (most do not speak english very well- only 1 person, their crew leader did).  One day, one of them said to Karl, "I am dad".  Karl said "oh that's great! how many kids do you have an how old are they?"  he responded "girl- 4 yrs, boy- 1 day".  His wife had their baby the day before and he was telling Karl he had a new son.  I can't even imagine a) having the baby alone b) having your husband away c) knowing your kid would be 4 months old before you could see them.  These workers come to America and work for crews like this for 9 months of the year.  They work hard & long hours.  Then, during Iowa winters (or other surrrounding cold states) they go home to be with their families for 3 months.  They wire the money home to their families each time they get paid.  That was one of those- realize how blessed we are moments.
 It finally rained and we had a few inches of water in our pit.
 Beginning to put the slats on.
 Karl checking it out.
 Framing begins.
I thought this picture was cool :)
Uh oh..... windy day!! Porta-a-potty down!! This happened twice in 3 months :)

This is a Sunday we won't ever forget.  At the beginning of this project we asked the builder to not work on Sundays.  No problem at all.  Until one day.....  A semi driver (who was just doing what he had been told to do) had come to pick up the trailer that had all the pit frames on it because it needed to be moved to another location.  (normally, this would have been a 5 minute project)  Well, he came at possibly the most muddy, rainy, sleety, nasty day we had in like 6 months.  Of course, there wasn't much rock and he got stuck.  We watched him try to get out for quite some time-- he even was going to take a skidloader off the trailer, to try to get the semi unstuck.  Well, eventually he called his buddies and a van of 15 guys showed up to "help"?!  Eventually 1 of them made their way to the house and said "we have permission- dozer!".  Karl said, "nope, I didn't give anyone permission".  the guy said "oh, boss say we permission".  Karl said "i'll just come out there and help you".  So he went out and hooked up the dozer and pulled them all the way to the road.  Long story short- it was an entertaining afternoon.

Hauling & leveling rock

As always- incredibly thankful for family with talent & equipment.
Finished product.  The two things I got to choose in the ordeal- the barn colors & the name of our LLC. :)  
 Inside.  The prettiest it will ever be :)
 How we spent Christmas Eve- in the hogshed.  Finishing up some final cleaning & organizing.  Oh, and Kipper has been the most spoiled dog in the world-- getting to be in a semi-heated shed out of the cold for the past 3 months... Sorry buddy, back to reality come the end of this week!
 Decorating pig cookies!  A few months back when our project had just began we were at the Machine Shed restaurant and I found a pig cookie cutter.  I bought and new just what to use it for :)  My mom helped me make 6 batches of cut-out cookies and we froze them, and then a couple days before the open house I asked these other hooligans to come help decorate.  No worries though, the frosting that appears to be falling out of Rachel's mouth didn't go onto any of your cookies.  She actually ate that entire bowl of frosting.  Plain.  Just like that.  (ok, not really, but she DEFINITELY would have if we let her).
 "We" did it!  It's up.  We had a successful open house, lots of friends & family and now we get baby pigs the end of this week.   Karl has been busy busy busy the past 3 months doing lots of odd jobs- rock, deliveries, wiring, overseeing and everything else. On Christmas Eve when we were cleaning Karl asked if I was excited.  I replied "I'm most excited to have my husband back after these past couple months".  To which he replied (yes, you would think it would be something sweet...) "I'm ready to take off my contractor hat and put my farmer hat back on".  :)   Well, whatever the reason, we're both happy it's up, ready to go and ready to take care of it.............and incredibly thankful for the help and support of friends & family along the way.
 One more thing--
Happy New Years!  May 2013 be a blessing to you & your families :)